Capital Prep begins the year where it ended last season – at No. 1
|1. CAPITAL PREP
Last season: Def. New London to win the Class L title.
Tip-Off: at Goodwin Tech, Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.
Bottom Line: The Trailblazers have won four straight state titles and finished as the No. 1 team in this poll the last four seasons. The first title – in 2013 – was Class S. Capital Prep has not lost to an in-state opponent since losing to Coginchaug in the Class S final in 2012.
|2. NEW LONDON
Last season: Lost to Capital Prep in Class L championship game.
Tip-Off: vs. St. Mary’s Bay View (R.I.), Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Bottom Line: The Whalers move up to Class LL move from Class L. New London has non-conference games this season against Cromwell (Dec. 15), Hand (Dec. 27) and Career (Feb. 4).
Last season: Lost to South Windsor in the Class LL quarterfinals.
Tip-Off: vs. Hand, Friday, 7 p.m.
Bottom Line: The Tigers open against Hand, the team that defeated Mercy for the SCC title last season.
Last season: Def. Greenwich to win the Class LL title.
Tip Off: at Westhill, Friday, 5:30 p.m.
Bottom Line: The Black Knights captured their first state title last season and have enough returning talent to vie again for the title.
Last season: Lost to Notre Dame-Fairfield in Class M semifinals.
Tip-Off: at Bristol Central, Monday, 6:45 p.m.
Bottom Line: The Eagles move to the CCC and up to Class LL after its merger with Fermi.
|6. E.O. SMITH
Last season: Lost to Greenwich in Class LL semifinals.
Tip-Off: vs. Bristol Eastern, Monday, 6:45 p.m.
Bottom Line: The Panthers return one of the state’s best players in senior McKenna Dale and should make another run at the Class LL title.
Last season: Def. Notre Dame-Fairfield to win Class M title.
Tip-Off: vs. Morgan, Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Bottom Line: The Panthers won their second title in four seasons last year.
|T8. FAIRFIELD WARDE
Last season: Lost to Greenwich in Class LL quarterfinals.
Tip-Off: vs. Norwich Free Academy (at Masuk), Monday, 5:15 p.m.
Bottom line: The Mustangs kick off the season against fellow Class LL contender NFA as part of the Masuk Tip-Off tournament.
|T8. NORWICH FREE ACADEMY
Last season: Lost to Stamford in Class LL quarterfinals.
Tip-Off: vs. Fairfield Warde (at Masuk), Monday, 5:15 p.m.
Bottom Line: The Wildcats have not made a state final since winning Class LL in 2010.
Last season: Lost to Stamford in Class LL final.
Tip-Off: vs. New Fairfield, Monday, 6:30 p.m.
Bottom Line: The Cardinals host Class M contender New Fairfield to open the season then Greenwich visits Fairfield Warde on Friday.
New Fairfield (6), South Windsor (9).
First-place votes in parentheses and points tabulated on a 30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis.
Others receiving votes
Hand (22-5), 136; Southington (20-5), 119; RHAM (20-6), 118; Bacon Academy (23-4), 88; New Fairfield (24-2), 82; South Windsor (23-5), 79; Holy Cross (24-3), 67; Notre Dame-Fairfield (21-7), 66; Canton (21-6), 37; Sheehan (14-10) and Thomaston (26-2), 23; Trumbull (19-5), 12; Ridgefield (17-7), 9; Kolbe Cathedral (19-7) and Pomperaug (18-6), 8.
The following voted
Marc Allard, Norwich Bulletin; Dave Danko, Fairfield Warde; Eric DeMarco, Notre Dame-Fairfield; Vickie Fulkerson, The Day of New London; Mike Madera, Elm City Newspapers; Scott Nails, Rye CDS; Dave Phillips, Shoreline Newspapers; Mike Pucci, New Haven Register; Lori Riley, Hartford Courant; Mike Suppe, HAN Network; Fred Williams, Northwestern; Richard Zalusky, Willimantic Chronicle.